Game On: Hornets @ Grizzlies (Live Chat!)

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Published: March 4, 2011

CP3 has answered the New York questions, Monty has laid down the law, and the fans have done their parts by chanting the mantras. Now all that is left is the part where the Hornets get back on track, and it starts tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Hornets win tonight and they are sixth in the West; they lose and they fall to eighth, with Utah, Phoenix, and Houston hot on their tails. Too soon to say this is a must win, but let’s just say it would be huge given the Hornets recent slide.

While a win would be nice, it will by no means be easy. Even without their 80 million dollar man Rudy Gay, Memphis has been playing good ball of late. They have won 12 of their last 16 (ironically the Hornets have lost 12 of their last 16) and they are doing it on both ends of the court. They have held opponents under 100 points in 12 of those games, and are averaging 103 PPG in the stretch.

Losing Gay has allowed Memphis to give more playing time to guys like Sam Young, Darrell Arthur, and Tony Allen- defensive minded players who have played above their heads on the offensive end as well. Arthur, Allen, and Young have increased their scoring by a combined 16 PPG since Gay has been out, and now Shane Battier, Leon Powe and Jason Williams have been added to contribute as well. This team goes 12 deep on some nights and can play multiple styles. Long story short, this team can be scary. This ain’t your big brothers’ Grizzlies.

Keys to Victory for the Hornets

1.) Limit Free Points

The Hornets did this wonderfully in the first meeting, as the Grizzlies took just 15 free throws (making 12). Rudy Gay took 6 of those and he won’t be playing tonight. The key was that Emeka Okafor and David West were able to bother Zach Randolph without sending him to the line, as he only took one free throw in that overtime Hornets victory. Memphis got some easy points in the paint that night off of some beautiful passing, but the Hornets were aggressive without fouling, as they registered 7 blocks in the game. With the struggles the Hornets have had on offense recently, they have to make sure that they limit easy points, and there is nothing easier than a free throw on your home court.

2.) Win the Turnover battle

These two teams are at the top of the league when it comes to not giving away possessions and the first game showcased that, as Memphis had 12 turnovers and the Hornets had just 10. The reason why it is so important for the Hornets to win this battle is because of Memphis’s ability to capitalize on turnovers in the open court. Memphis forced the Spurs into committing 22 turnovers Tuesday night and scored 30 points off those turnovers. Over the course of the season, Memphis is #1 in turnovers forced, as teams average nearly 17 against Memphis.

The Hornets want to keep the scoring low and make Memphis work for every point, and that is why limiting turnovers and keeping the Grizz of the line are so important. The key to having quality possessions is having a leader who sets the pace and makes the right decisions, which brings me to the numero uno key to the game…..

3.) Christopher Paul must play like CP3!

CP3 was a once-in-a-generation PG, a transcendent player that gave you a chance to win every time he took the court- no matter who the other 4 guys on his team were. CP3 knew when to get teammates involved and when to look for his own shot, he could get in the lane at will, and he absolutely dominated the last five minutes of a ball game. The Hornets haven’t had CP3 in over a month now; instead, they have been giving Christopher Paul his minutes.

Christopher Paul picks up his dribble far too early in possessions. Christopher Paul is allergic to the lane, and instead tends to stand around on the perimeter while his teammates try to create shots for themselves. Christopher Paul is the antithesis of Marcus Thornton’s parents- because he can’t make a Bucket. Christopher Paul must go back to the non-basketball playing island from which he came, and CP3 must return. If not, perhaps Jarrett Jack is up for the challenge.

Other News and Notes:

– Memphis signed Leon Powe, a guy the Hornets were apparently targeting. Oh well, he would have been nice, but no luck. According to a buddy in Cleveland, he can really cheer loudly on the bench and that would have been huge for the Hornets. Jason Smith and David Anderson cheer well, but their voice can’t project in some buildings, especially Dallas. It would have been nice to have Powe’s voice in the playoffs, but no luck.

– Mad props to Dariusz for the banner. He said that since the Hornets have played no D of late, he thought maybe putting Monty on the banner will get them to step up. Here’s hoping it works.

– Christopher averaging less than 12 points per game on 35% shooting over last 11 games. Ugh!

– There is a rumor going around that David West yelled at CP3 in the locker room after the New York Knicks game on Wednesday, and it is just that- a rumor. From what I can tell it started on a Spurs forum from one of those guys who claims to have a “friend” and it spread from there. Not one credible source has reported anything like this. There is tons of media in and around the locker room after the game (especially in NY!). Believe me, if this happened, it would have been front page news.

– Emeka struggling offensively since returning from injury, just 5 PPG in his last three games. Shooting 25% from the field in his last two. Time to get him some easy buckets.

– Hornets have won 16 of last 20 against Memphis, with CP3 being a big reason for those victories. That guy loved playing Memphis back in the day. I hope he shows up tonight.

Vegas Zone: Memphis is 5.5 point underdog, over/under set at 183.5. Memphis has covered in 4 of their last 5 meetings. I say the Hornets buck that trend and blast the over. Hornets 98 Grizzlies 95.

– And now, you know what time it is. My favorite part of Game On posts and comments, as all of you Cap…..That…….Pic

48 comments
Kenny James
Kenny James

HiMyNameisSteven, I'm on the same page. Again, I like Landry, but you don't trade a Ferrari for a Toyota. Landry is needed on this team, but if Sacremento was willing to part, maybe he could have been acquired by giving up a draft pick. Now lets trade Dell Demps & Monty Williams and get Collison and Thornton back.

42
42

Maybe, maybe not.

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

So happy to hear about this win tonite!! Unfortunately I was unable to see this game, I'll look at it later, but for now, I'm proud & excited to know we were able to pull this one out!! Way to geaux guys!!

paul
paul

OK. We win! And everybody worked hard and with each other. So...can we PLEASE stop talking about how they don't like each other!?

JaeAmazin
JaeAmazin

We Go as Chris Paul Go..And he Was Deff CP3 Tonight..Winning Feels So Fucking Good..And shots out To My Homie JJack..Dude Has Been Ballin

paul
paul

all my feeds are like two minutes behind the real game. very frustrating!

paul
paul

thought gray was poor tonight, but he is playing better now.

42
42

Don't forget the chat!

42
42

Together... we can end the practice of selling skim milk... Please... This is bigger than all of us...

paul
paul

you know, my brothers and I have had a business together for 30years. In those years, the emplyees can tell you stories about the flat ur arguments that took place. These were so powerful, if you did not know us you would think we were bitter enemies and hated each other. Well, we dn't really speak today...but that's another story. However, at the time, it was business and very hard work. We had bad, bad days. But it was never taken beyong that building. It was still where we eating tonight or where we playing tennis tonight... Whatever. It was what happens in the heat of the moment. I am sure this is what happens here. Between Players AND staff. But they gotta leave it on the floor. It is what being "professional" really means.

peronas
peronas

SeanKelleyLive via Twitter "Bellinelli will start in place of Green tonight. Ariza is out. Pondexter starts in his spot." Anyone know why the switch of Green and Belli seems they've been playing considerably better since switching roles. Also any idea why Ariza is out?

mbdtf
mbdtf

Yes, they've been playing considerably better, but we also haven't been winning. We were getting W's with Belli in the starting lineup for whatever reason so I guess Monty wants to go back to what was working. Ariza has a strained left adductor. I hope Q-Pon can step up!

jib
jib

Whether the D.West thing is true or not, I really wish it was true. Someone should go off on him. We know he's better than this. I honestly am believing he is not really even trying. Injuries or no injuries, this isn't excusable. Anyways, Here's to hoping Chris Paul makes me look like a dumbass tonight!

MaxJD_Nola2NYC
MaxJD_Nola2NYC

I'm telling you guys I was at the game and DWest was blatently yelling at CP3 in front of everybody at the knicks game

James Online
James Online

This team was built so strongly around Chris Paul that when he doesn't function the entire project goes down. To me, it almost looks like he's trying to make a point--sort of like what Kobe does sometimes (refuses to shoot). Hard to know what the point is, of course, but Paul just seems indifferent to what's going on. Throughout this career Chris has been a control freak. Every other player defers to him to a fault. It's like, "we've got to get the ball to Chris then we can figure out where to go/what to do." That takes all the spontaneity out of the offense and it undermines the other players who are marginalized because of the minor/complementary roles they are supposed to play. Paul speaks for the Hornets on the court too. He yells for the ball and complains to the refs. All attention on him. Control freak. That's not leadership. I'm not knocking his skills, just seeing other sides of his performance that I believe undercut the team's potential. They play way too tentatively and are way too dependent on one player. Long term, that doesn't work.

DownUnder
DownUnder

"wow, Zach Randolph is taking can take on Trevor Booker AND John Wall but.... Michael in a fight with a Grizzly Bear im still betting on Mike" True or not about the yeeling, I hope D-West has at least talked to CP about this slump because thats what co-captains are supposed to do, Lift the other up when they are down for the good of the team.

lancebrou68
lancebrou68

p90x i had to do that last year's summer training for football after tht i was built like a brick shit house

Nik
Nik

"Channeling his inner DeMarcus Cousins"

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

'Steven' ... Do you think CP3's bad play is attributed to the departure of Marcus Thornton? Seriously? L_REAZY

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

cant tell if this is serious but ill respond anyway.... NO I think chris is not playing well mainly because of all the trade talk that was going on and seeing melo go where he wanted to go making chris really thinking to much about that next year... i honestly think he doesnt want to play in new orleans anymore. i have never seen chris look like he doesnt care out there. all that fire that he used to show even when we were losing is gone. i think he is done

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

i dunno about the marcus trade affecting chris... i honestly never felt like the two of them had a big time affection for each other but i wouldnt know that jjust what i saw from body language and the way they acted on the court together.... but on the other hand maybe chris is upset since now we have completed depleted our young talent by giving away our two amazing rookies from last year and all we got were marginal players in ariza and landry soooo maybe i dunno

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

I know its Paul Westphal's freelance system, but MT5 has been killing! ...but your right 'Steven' CP3 and MT5 just wouldn't have worked. They both need the ball, and one would end up hurting the other's game. That's why I always wished that Marcus could have played a similar game to Jarret Jack where he could handle the ball, score or pass. L_REAZY

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

No I am very serious. I remember you mentioned this back in November / December, and I didn't agree at the time; but I wonder, NOW, if your argument had some validity to it? I remember you stated that CP3 considered Marcus Thornton a good reason to remain a Hornet, and that he's tired of seeing players like Tyson Chandler and Darren Collison get traded away! I'm just trying to understand the reason for his bad basketball 'play' as of late, especially after he stated that it had nothing to do with his knee. So, if everything has been mental, I'm trying to figure out what has been mental for him. Maybe it was the trading away of talent. L_REAZY

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

by the way ive watched all of the kings games since marcus has gone there and its making me really think monty did a good job not playing marcus and chris so much together cuz marcus really plays way better when he can dmoinate the ball and chris sucks when he is standing on the outside looking to get open shots he is so inneffective unless he is controlling it sooo i dunno with the way chris is playing i would of been glad to see marcus stay and us pick up a pg in return who can nail open shots and is way more of a facilitator rather than ball dominator... marcus has looked great in my opinion

jib
jib

From what I heard, those two didn't have what I would say is that good of a relationship. Maybe Paul is pissed he didn't get traded? just a thought

Sean Wolfe
Sean Wolfe

Im pretty sure Memphis is the 5.5 point favorite in this one, and sorry to say but i like their chances. I enjoy your breakdowns, they help with my handicapping.

Chuck
Chuck

Caption: Z-bo auditions for Walker, Memphis Ranger. At least that's what he told John Wall

pinoyballah
pinoyballah

caption: "What did the 5 fingers say to the face.......SLAAAAP!"

JCS
JCS

For as long as I can remember, teams that went far into the playoffs always had a leader. The Spurs had Duncan, the Rockets had Olajuwon, the Jazz had Malone, and so on. This current Hornets team has everything they need thanks to Dell, however the only thing missing is a leader. The most recent losses are evidence, where as fingers pointed at Monty are fingers pointing in the wrong direction. Hornets fans need to remove the wool from their eyes, and stop blaming Monty, stop riding the Jack-Green-Belly bandwagon for better or worse, and stop worshipping the false idol that is the X-Hornet Marcus Thorton. The problem with this Hornets team is CP3 and the solution is to have him be the leader that he was under Byron Scott. There is no question that during those years CP3 reached his apex, and that his teammates fed off his energy. Thus if CP3 can rise to that level again, his new team will follow, and finish this season on a much higher note.

TheMackBee
TheMackBee

Worst case scenario we lose(fall to 8th) and PHX win(1 1/2 GB?)...........Caption Announcer: "Randolph with the clothesline and left hook"

QueenBee
QueenBee

It sure would be nice to win a game again. :?

Kevin
Kevin

I thought about making a journal or a post in the forum about this, but just to have it somewhere it will be read by most... a few Hornets-related excerpts from the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT: "Notable -- Hornets, who used to not give a hoot for analytics; have five people at #ssac" "CP3, unsurprisingly, undershoots the most. Larry Hughes, like HLHPSTSMBS told us, overshoots a ton." "Chris Paul, LeBron James, Amare undershoot; Westbrook, Odom, Ellis, T-Mac, Gooden overshoot (pre-2011) #ssac" "Daryl Morey, on first warning sign he saw w/Marcus Banks: when Banks said his main goal was to be a fashion model. #ssac" "Russ Granik is already helping his boy David Stern use the threat of contracting the Hornets as leverage in the next CBA #ssac"

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Good stuff. Who knew cp3 doesn't shoot enough??? Mardi Gras overlapping with the conference stopped me this year, but I get the feeling that going forward we will be at almost everything worth attending.

Kevin
Kevin

That's awesome, guys. I would love to hear more Hornets-specific analysis. They don't seem to be a prevalent topic any which way right now. I thought for sure Ariza would be a target, hah.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Hornets247 will be in attendance next year- this is a great event. Feel free to write a journal on anything/everything you find

Hordan
Hordan

I think part of the reason for Okafor's struggles is Christopher Paul's play, not getting him open looks. That, and he's just rusty.

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

Caption: "Zach Randolph is auditioning for the part of King Kong and Cartier Martin (I think that's who that is) is playing the role of the blonde chick, "Kong's Bride"

Nithenz
Nithenz

Holy evil magicians batman, Wizards all over the place! Dont worry Robin, Randolph is here!! POW!! BAM!!! BIFF!!

Will Bennett
Will Bennett

I have not been in touch with the CP3 'New York' affairs. Could someone please catch me up on what this means by "CP3 has answered the New York questions"?? thanks

JS
JS

"Mess with the Bull you get the Horns"

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Looks like Randolph has a nice left jab. Impressive he can place a choke hold on one guy with one arm, and knock another guy square in the chin with his left.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

He has been doing his P90X. Anybody who has had to endure that lunacy will get the reference (I hope)

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

I just want a win tonight. That's all.

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

"Christopher Paul is the antithesis of Marcus Thornton’s parents- because he can’t make a Bucket." Really? lol turrible

lancebrou68
lancebrou68

caption: well Mr.McNamara...the grizzly won that time

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

A fluke I say. You know, reading up on Grizzlies I have found out that they are quite slow during their hibernation months. My confidence grows each day!